I had to wonder why every year I seem to like New Year's Eve more than Christmas and last night I figured out why - New Year's Eve is for friends and Christmas is for family. As much as I beat myself up for not spending enough time with them, last night I was reminded why that is.
Last night I decided to visit my parents house because it was the last day that my brother and his family would be in town - I see them once every couple of years or so, so it was the polite thing to do. The TV was on and so began the search for something that everyone could watch - not too violent, not too sappy, etc. It seemed we struck gold when the 3rd installment of Harry Potter was beginning. At this point my jesus-freak half-brother stated that Harry Potter is what's wrong with this country. My brother is sort of like the father from Douglas Coupland's book Hey Nostradamus!, claustrophobically devout. He believes that Harry Potter and its "devil worship" is the bible to too many kids. To the defense of the rest of my family, we all argued against him commenting on the many evils this world has endured in the name of some god. How many clan members put the hood over their head with one hand because they have a bible in the other?
Any way, the argument quieted down when my brother provided the next nugget of wisdom: the other problem with this country are the gays. For me, all of the mirth and frivolity of the holiday weekend came to an abrupt end. No sense arguing with this level of close-mindedness.
No matter how much you love your family, you didn't choose them. At times it becomes hard to believe that you could even be related. No better support for the argument that we are as much a product of our peers as our family.
Either that or my brother was simply born an ass. Either way I'm glad the long holiday weekend is over.